Obituary of Joseph William Powell
Joseph William Powell died on August 16th, 2021 with his wife of 73 years by his side. He was the son of Joseph A. Powell and Nora Skinner Powell. He is survived by his wife, Dolores McKinney Powell. She was a great, supportive, and joyful companion on his journey through life. He was preceded in death by his sister Patricia Powell Farinash of Vienna WV and his son J. Lee Powell of Bridgeport. Also, his best friend in life and through the war, Bud Bell preceded him in death. He was a graduate of Victory High School, Class of 1941, and he attended VPI under the Army’s ASTP program. Joe served three years in the Army Air Force during WWII, most of that time in the Aleutian Islands. Joe was a life-long union member. He served an apprenticeship program at Rolland Glass at age 18 and was active in the union movement for over 56 years. Joe had membership in Union Locals including Glass Cutters #7, AFSME #352, Steelworkers #5668 and Laborers #1353. He worked in many positions in the AFL-CIO and served as President of the WV AFL-CIO for over 23 years. He served as President of the AFL-CIO Appalachian Council which recruited for Job Corps in 24 States (offering training programs and placement services for graduates). He was Chairman of the Human Resources Development Foundation emphasizing housing for low income and elderly people in 17 locations in WV along with job training. He had a great time organizing and servicing local unions, working with Local Central Bodies and delighted in the political and lobbying responsibilities that were part of his job. He had many life-long friendships developed within the union movement. He was a former Chairman of the WVU Board of Advisors, served as co-chair of the Higher Education Advocacy Team, served on the university System Board of Trustees, and the WV Higher Education interim Governing Board. He was a 32nd degree mason of Late Lodge #63 A.F.&A.M of Bridgeport for over 60 years. Joe’s relaxation was growing award winning roses. Joe was blessed by sons J. Lee Powell (Kathy) of Bridgeport, Stephen R. Powell (Vickie) of Morgantown and daughter Tina J. Powell of Fairfax, VA; seven grandchildren: Jeff Morrison, Craig Morrison, Alicia Morrison, Elizabeth Powell, Sarah Powell, Donny Powell and Andy Powell; and nine great grandchildren. Due to COVID restrictions and risks, a small private family memorial will be held this weekend. Hopefully in the near future, a celebration of his life can be planned for the many people that Joe touched over his lifetime. In lieu of flowers, Joe suggests that calls of thanks and appreciation be made to your long time, loyal friends…. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com. The Powell family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV.
A private service will be held at a later date.